Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Pride and Prejudice 200 Years Old Today

Today is the bicentenary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice which was first published on 28 January 1813 by Thomas Egerton of London.

It is often regarded as one of the most popular novels of classic literature and so I think it deserves a special post to celebrate its brilliance.

The Telegraph newspaper have posted a quiz found at the link below. How well do you know Pride and Prejudice?? Comments welcome.

Pic: Mr Darcy and Elizabeth

Monday, 28 January 2013

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 220

Sally Hawkins for Anne Elliot in Persuasion 2007

I found this short sentence in Persuasion just now. Volume 1 Chapter 1, page 10 (Oxford edition, 2003):

It sometimes happens, that a woman is handsomer at twenty-nine than she was ten years before; and generally speaking, if there has been neither ill health nor anxiety, it is a time of life at which scarcely any charm is lost.

I have posted this quote back in December 2009. This time, the quote presents another impression for me. The quote is so true, methinks, particularly for myself. When I was 19 years old, I wasn't a girl who knew how to present herself in the best of light. I felt much happier with the way I presented myself when I was 29.... but I wasn't happy with myself. But now, as I'm approaching 39, I find it interesting that I'm also happier than when I was ten years ago.

I mean, it should be like that, right? I do find that I need to reduce my food intake (lest my darling dresses won't fit me...), and I have to do more exercise than before (any tips, Ladies?). But I also accept myself more and at the same time trying to see if I can push the limit a bit more. I don't always succeed, of course. But I can safely say that I'm happier than I was 10 years ago. I hope 10 years later, I will be happier too.

And so I hope for all of us.

(And no, my birthday isn't until March. I just found the above quote charming somehow for this week/weekend past).


Friday, 25 January 2013

An Interview with Syrie James, author of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen

Syrie James is the bestselling author of eight critically acclaimed novels, including The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë, Dracula My Love, Nocturne, Forbidden, and The Harrison Duet: Songbird and Propositions. Her books have been translated into eighteen foreign languages. In addition to her work as a novelist, she is a screenwriter, a member of the Writers Guild of America, and a life member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. She lives with her family in Los Angeles, California. Connect with her on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

An interview has been conducted with Syrie James, author of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen, and we have the exclusive answers to some of the questions.

Are there any fun facts readers wouldn’t know about you from reading your bio?

I was a gymnast in high school and college. I love watching the Olympics gymnastics, ice skating, and ice dancing competitions. My favorite foods are lamb chops, every kind of fruit, any kind of salad, and strawberry shortcake. I adore roses, lilacs, and orchids, and all flowers in general. Strolling through beautiful gardens and the woods is heaven to me—and as a city girl, I don’t get that pleasure as often as I’d like. I love spending time with children and senior citizens, who possess wise, unique, and valuable perspectives of the world. I once thought I’d be an elementary school teacher. I like dogs. I designed and maintain my own website. Scrabble and Rummy Royal are two of my favorite games. I am grateful every single minute of every day for the gift of being alive on this wondrous planet.

What Hollywood actors would you choose to play the characters who appear in The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen?

I wrote the character Anthony Whitaker especially for Rupert Penry-Jones, who I adore. I can envision Emily Blunt, Amy Adams, or Anne Hathaway playing Samantha; Mia Waskiowska, Carrie Mulligan, or Jennifer Lawrence as Rebecca Stanhope; Tom Wilkinson as Mr. Stanhope; Dan Stevens as Mr. Clifton; Robert Pattinson as Dr. Watkins; and Hayden Panattiere as Amelia Davenport. And of course I'd have to write the screenplay!

If you found a missing manuscript by Jane Austen what would you do with it?

I would read it with wonder and excitement. I'd publish it for all the world to read and enjoy, and make sure the manuscript found a home with a university or library where it would be preserved but also available to view and study.

If you would like to post a comment about the original content above or any of Syrie's novels then a copy of The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen is up for grabs and can be sent to you. The winner will be chosen randomly from those who comment, unfortunately we can only post a copy to people within the US. Sorry!

Pics: provided by Penguin Group USA

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 219 by Linda

Emma and Harriet with winter muffs to repel cold (but not effective to get rid of Mr Elton), from this site
Tis the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere when we are liable to catch a "cold".  As  a matter of fact our family has had our share of those illnesses.  This has prompted me to look into Jane's Emma where we find dear Mr. Woodhouse lamenting on such things.  In Chapter 29 we find Mr. Woodhouse saying:
"Oh! no," said he; "it would be the extreme of imprudence. I could not bear it for Emma! Emma is not strong. She would catch a dreadful cold. So would poor little Harriet. So you would all. Mrs. Weston, you would be quite laid up; do not let them talk of such a wild thing. Pray do not let them talk of it. That young man (speaking lower) is very thoughtless. Do not tell his father, but that young man is not quite the thing. He has been opening the doors very often this evening, and keeping them open very inconsiderately. He does not think of the draught. I do not mean to set you against him, but indeed he is not quite the thing!"
My point being that such "colds" have been happening many hundreds of years.  My hope is that our dear readers who may catch one will find it few and very light.   I do hope that we will some day do as Rachel does and practice more "natural" cures as well as keeping our immune systems in tact so as to not be bothered with them at all.  Oh, dear, am I beginning to sound like Mr. Woodhouse?  My apologies!
Yrs aff'ly,
Linda the Librarian

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week - Week 27

I have chosen a quote from chapter VII, page 197, of the Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy.

This is an extract from a letter to his wife, written from Bangor on a Thursday.

"All nature appears in its most attractive form - a magnificent setting sun just over the dark and massy wood stretched along the opposite bank of the Menai - the air mild as summer, and the sea, with its unruffled glassy surface, spread out below. My window looks out directly on all this beautiful scenery, but yet my heart is looking back to the scenes I left, rather than enjoying those before me."

I think that this quote shows just how sensitive and romantic Mr Lefroy was. His descriptive language is just beautiful, Jane and Tom definitely had something in common.

Monday, 7 January 2013

The whole Persuasion 2007 movie on YouTube

We apologise for the lack of quote for last week (5/6 Jan). We've been busy with our holidays and neglected the roster, hence no quote this time. We have made the next roster tho, and Rachel will be doing a quote (scheduled for Tom) next weekend (12/13 Jan). 

As a remedy for our mishap, Linda found a nice YouTube link where the entire Persuasion 2007 movie was uploaded. 


This is her message:

The internet is truly amazing - at least to me at my advanced age. I stumbled across a site that has the complete movie of "Persuasion" on YouTube. It is the 2007 movie with Sally Hawkins. You can see it here: CLICK HERE
It is not my favorite version (I like the Amanda Root one) but in my opinion, you can't get too much Jane Austen. So enjoy!
Yrs aff'ly,
Linda the Librarian
Thanks a lot Linda, and happy watching!